WHEELING, W.VA. (WTRF)- “Growing up as a kid, I had a rough childhood and made a lot of mistakes in my life and throughout the valley I see a lot of kids that need help so what I wanted to do was take them off of the streets and get them into something organized that would do positive things for them,” said Rick Leigh, founder of R. L. Strength and Conditioning.
And that’s exactly what Rick Leigh has been able to do through his nonprofit, R. L. Strength and Conditioning. Football, basketball, cardio, conditioning, and boxing are all available for kids who wish to get involved.
“Some of these kids, you know the fight is a distant thing sometimes, like a courtroom, or a parent in trouble, something like that. When they come over here to boxing, they’ve got the fight right in front of them. It takes their mind off of all of those things and they see that they can handle a fight and it builds up their confidence and self-esteem. It’s really helpful in that way,” said Josh Fisher, a coach at R. L. Strength and Conditioning.
This program has only been running for a year, but it already has one big success story. And that’s David Lynn.
“Used to get suspended in school all of the time, got in trouble, got arrested. He’s a senior this year. Never played any sports but he’s going to run track this year. Got him running track, got him back in school, got his grades up, he’s on the honor roll, he’s about to do the “Tough Man,” contest and his mom everyday thanks me for getting him in here,” said Lynn.
“Through boxing I learned how to become a better person, wake up and help other people and show them what it really takes to motivate yourself.” David has used his motivation to better himself. And he’s looking forward to competing in his first “Tough Man,” contest.
“Motivation really works when you take some of your anger out on the bags instead of taking it out into the streets and beating other people up, hurting them and their families when you can go box and have fun at the same time, make money on it, and live a good life,” said Lynn.